The increasing prevalence of non-standard work and its adverse consequences are well documented. However, we still know little about how common non-standard work is amongst parents, and whether its negative consequences are further transmitted to their children. Using data from the German Microcensus, we document the prevalence and concentration of temporary employment and non-standard work schedules in households with children in Germany. Second, we examine the extent to which variation in this temporal dimension of parental employment is associated with children’s school track. Results show that in about half of all German households with children in lower-secondary school at least one parent has a temporary contract or regularly works evenings or Saturdays. We find that children whose mother always works evenings or Saturdays are substantially less likely to transition to the academic school track. By contrast, we find no significant association between fathers’ non-standard work schedules and children’s school track. We also find no evidence of an association between parents’ temporary employment and children’s school track placement. These divergent findings highlight the importance of disaggregating non-standard work into its specific components and differentiating between mothers' and fathers' non-standard work when investigating the consequences of parental non-standard work for children’s educational and life chances.


Betthäuser, B., Trinh, N.A., Fasang, A., (2023). 'The Temporal Dimension of Parental Employment: Fixed-term Contracts, Non-standard Work Schedules and Children’s Education in Germany, European Sociological Review', jcad073, https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcad073.
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